Skip to main content

Fishing a Glide Bait

Glide your way to big bites inshore.

This snook struck a 10cm Westin Swim in black mullet.

Chances are you’ve picked up a magazine or come across pictures on social media of gargantuan bass caught out in California. I’d almost bet a glide bait had some influence on these catches. Most of the time you can see the proof hanging right out their mouth. Musky and pike anglers to the north can also validate the glide bait, with fish over 50 inches happily taking a swing. But what if you brought these big fish tactics to the salt?

WHAT IS A GLIDE BAIT?

A glide bait is a hard-plastic suspending lure, often segmented, and is typically found in the 4- to 7-inch range. They also are designed to cast extremely far, so you can easily reach those out-there fish, and cover a lot of water on the retrieve.

Anglers out west often use these lures to mimic the large shad and stocked rainbow trout largemouth bass forage on. Transition into saltwater, these profiles mimic mullet, menhaden, ladyfish and other baits admirably.

ACTION

Steady reeling yields from the glide bait a wide, sweeping action.

The action is what makes these lures so irresistible. These lures work side to side, with a wide sweeping, “S” curve action, with just the crank of the handle. This mimics a wounded baitfish on its way out; an easy meal to gamefish.

I was recently fishing Charlotte Harbor with (Capt. Jay Withers of Silver Lining Charters) throwing the Westin Swim Glide Bait, working mangrove edges for big, laid-up snook.

“I love these glide baits because I can hand the rod to a new client and all they have to do is reel and will get bit. You can work it like a gold spoon,” said Withers.




There’s no need to even move your rod tip; you control the action with the reel. You want a hard dart? Make a brisk, quarter-turn of the handle. Pause. Let it sit and it will suspend like a wounded baitfish. Rip it back to the boat for a hard vibration and erratic action.

“I’ve even ripped them across shallow water reefs and wrecks only to have kingfish sky on them,” exclaimed Withers.

Recommended


This larger profile, matched up with the wide, sweeping action can really wake up a big fish that may not want to run down a smaller, faster bait. It almost seems to just taunt the fish.

“I think it gives the lethargic and spooky fish a little different look than most lures,” said Withers. “It doesn’t make a crazy action, which is good for these fish.”

The versatility produces bites just about anywhere inshore. Sweep it down the upcurrent side of a dock for fish staging into the current. Throw it along bridge shadow lines at night. Work it along the edges of a bait school on the flats. It’s hard to go wrong.

With the action of this lure, you’ll want to give it as much free movement as possible, not impeding on the action. Withers prefers the canoeman loop knot when fishing a glide bait. I like to throw these lures on a 7-foot, medium action G.Loomis IMX-PRO Blue, paired with a Shimano Curado DC. This not only makes throwing these big lures easy but does not wear you out when throwing them for hours, nor do you compromise the backbone needed for fighting big fish. FS

Florida Sportsman Magazine March 2020

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Store

Refurbished 1987 Alumacraft Jon Boat | One Man's Dreamboat

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Learn

New Berkley Finisher: The All-Around Live Sonar Lure

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Gear

New Berkley Power Switch: Powerhouse Lure Designed for Foward-Facing Sonar

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Gear

New Berkley Krej: A Reversed Lip Jerkbait?

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Store

How to Install New Fuel Tanks in an Old Boat

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Videos

Testing Out the Latest from Old Town in the Marquesas

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Store

How to Powder Coat: Benefits of Powder Coating Metal Fuel Tanks

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Gear

Father & Son Customize a 20' Center Console | One Man's Dreamboat

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Gear

Best Features of the Shallow Sport X3

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Learn

How to Fix an Outboard Motor that was Submerged in Saltwater

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Store

Analyzing a Hurricane Damaged Boat for Restoration

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Store

How to Design & Build a Custom Dash Panel for a Boat

Florida Sportsman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now